Effective Automotive Marketing


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How do consumers buy cars today? What should OEM's and Dealers be doing to effectively engage consumers through their purchase decision?

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Effective Automotive Marketing

  1. 1. Effective Automotive Marketing Devon MacDonald February, 2012
  2. 2. Introduction• The Automotive Industry – Some basics• The Savvy Consumer• Some Examples (good and bad)• What should be done
  3. 3. Some Basics
  4. 4. OEM and Dealers• Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) do just that, they make the vehicles• Dealers are licensed agents of the manufacturers that allow them to sell the vehicles at agreed to costs
  5. 5. OEM and Dealers• Sales Targets are set by the OEM for the Dealer• Dealers report to regional sales groups while managing their own sales staff• Dealers receive an agreed to volume of advertising, promotional and administrative support
  6. 6. Generating Revenue• Dealerships are owned and operated by the dealer principle (the owner) – They are responsible for all costs associated to running the dealership• Dealers make little money from selling the actual cars• Their main source of revenue is from servicing vehicles
  7. 7. Similar Business Models to AutomotiveGenerating Revenue from Service, not Sales
  8. 8. Movie Theatre• Revenue from ticket sales goes back to the studios – A small percentage stays with the theatre • Less in the first couple of weeks, more in the latter• The theatre makes its revenue from – Concessions – Trailers – Cinema Advertising
  9. 9. Concert Stadium• Majority of revenue goes to performer and promoter• The stadium makes its revenue from – Concessions – Parking – In stadium advertising
  10. 10. Electronics Retailer• Very low margins on electronics• Highly commoditized with active price comparisons by consumers• The chain, or store, makes it revenue from – High margin accessories – After market warranties
  11. 11. Apple• First generation iPhone / iPad were not focused on profit, they were focused on penetration• The devices are sold at market prices, with more functionality• Revenue is generated from – Apps – iTunes – Content, content, content
  12. 12. Consumer BehaviourHow do people decide what car to buy?
  13. 13. The Marketing Challenge• Consumers today use digital to research most purchases, particularly vehicles• With a long time between purchases it is very difficult to maintain a relationship with the consumer that will influence their future buying decision
  14. 14. Making a Decision• A typical buyer will take 3 months to purchase a vehicle – Online Research – Advice from friends – Visiting a dealer
  15. 15. So why then is themajority of ad $ focused on TV?
  16. 16. Who owns the Customer?• Manufactures and Dealers are often at odds over a number of issues – Sales Targets vs Sales Support – Model availability – Innovative Features• Maintaining a relationship with the customer is in the interest of both – But no one does it really well
  17. 17. Some Examples ofConsumer Marketing
  18. 18. ? Sent to a VolvoOwner, where is the personalization?
  19. 19. ?Sent to a VW Owner theweek after they bought a car – very bad
  20. 20. ?Sent to an Auto Show attendee – some good personalization, but horrible format for a premium brand
  21. 21. Sent to an Auto Showattendee, love the unique PIN
  22. 22. Sent to an Auto Showattendee, love the unique PIN and personalization
  23. 23. Sent to an Auto Show attendee, love the personalization
  24. 24. ? The link from the email however goes to a horribly managed Facebook page – Ialmost thought it was hacked
  25. 25. Sent to an Auto Show attendee, love the personalization
  26. 26. ?But the hyperlink doesn’tremember my vehicle of choice 
  27. 27. Owner Portals• Most manufacturers have developed owner portals to try to maintain connection with owners – Ideally owners are signed up at vehicle delivery, but with a lot of papers to fill out already sales staff have been reluctant to add more – Signing up after the fact can be arduous
  28. 28. What should OEMs and Dealers do?
  29. 29. Establish ownership• Assign ownership of a customer based on proximity to a dealer – But let the customer ultimately decide what dealer they want to work from • One may be for purchase and one for service• Understand complimentary consumer behaviour from postal code / zip code
  30. 30. Align Forces• Coordinate activities between Head Office and Dealer – Messages should be consistent – No overlap – Don’t compete with themselves• Integrate Service messaging with other communications
  31. 31. Customize and Personalize• More than name – Communication preference – Vehicle preference – Service history – Vehicle history• Learn what you can, and incorporate into modeling and messaging
  32. 32. Lead Time before Next Car1. Don’t bombard the customer2. Ask when they want to get involved3. Engage them at the right time (see 1 & 2)4. Qualify the lead for the Dealer to engage effectively
  33. 33. Create Advocates• Develop word of mouth amongst your drivers and service customers by providing quality sales and service experiences• Engage them in their ownership experience – Submit photos – Submit videos – Share purchases – Tell Stories about their vehicle
  34. 34. Thank You Devon MacDonald @devonmacdonaldLinkedin.com/devonmacdonald